Government Hill Commons: Sprouting a Community

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Years ago, Steve Gerlek and his son drove past an empty two-acre lot in the Government Hill neighborhood in Anchorage. The lot had been cleared by the state to make room for the Knik River Bridge, but when the bridge never came to fruition the lot remained an empty eyesore. As they drove by, Gerlek’s son brought up the idea of turning the lot into a community orchard. From that seed of an idea, the Government Hill Commons was born.

Gerlek and the team that rallied behind the idea envisioned the Government Hill Commons as a dynamic community space with at least 10 distinct facets to encourage gathering. For

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